I was feeling a bit low this weekend. The dizziness was back full force and it exhausted me more than usual but for some reason the severe headaches had stopped. I was grateful and I said so. I sat all day Saturday doing very little and by Sunday morning I wanted to do something different.
I tried the week before to go to a new church but that didn’t feel like a good fit for me. So my daughter suggested this morning going to the mall for a bit of an indoor walk out of the wind while she hunted down a pair of dress slacks for work. That was good for some much needed exercise. That worked out well for me but the dizziness was taking its toll. I was getting more disheartened by the moment.
Next we headed up to the grocery to pick up a few things we needed. Coming up the hill I noticed the parking lot was already full. I was the passenger as usual since it’s still not safe for me to drive and to my right I caught the glimpse of a young man holding up a cardboard sign. I caught just of glimpse of that as well since my right eye is legally blind picking up only large items with no detail. But the part of the sign that was important caught me. Student-legally blind-stuck-hungry and scared. I asked my daughter if she caught what was going on and she said we would check it out if he was still there when we left. I asked if she thought he was on the level and she said “It didn’t matter, what was important was that someone needed help.” I found out from her later that he was dressed in those baggy pants that hung down low but for some reason I was blinded to it. I never noticed.
As we got back into the car with our purchases, I opened my purse while my daughter put the cart in its proper place. I knew I had a $5 bill but first I found a single. I put them both in my hand and thought to myself; if I’d gone to church this morning I would have put this in the offering plate so this is what I will offer. Now, I never give money to street beggars. I don’t trust that most are honorable in ways that matter. But we both heard something inside us that compelled us to check this out. We pulled out of our parking space and moved down the road to find him sitting on the curb with his head down wrapped in his arms. Sign down on the sidewalk. My daughter looked at me and I handed her the $6 and said check this out for me. She walked over to him and he didn’t move back into begging position. He had given up. She sat down next to him and began a conversation. Then a few moments later, stood, bent down to give him a hug and walked back to me. He jumped up from his spot saying “God bless you!” and left.
It seems he was a university student who was attending a children’s literature class and his ride had bailed out on him. He was $6 short of being able to get home and on that beautiful Sunday morning, NO one stopped to give him a hand.
Now, this is not all about me being nice. This is about the synchronicity of him saying he needed $6 and that’s exactly what my daughter had in her hand. He couldn’t see it because he was legally blind. It’s about him being there to test our hearts. My daughter would not have left him anymore than I would. We were of the same mind that morning and we were absolutely guided. You can’t tell me that there isn’t some force in the universe that runs things. It was a reminder to me that I’m not alone either. That things will work out even when they look bleakest. That young man had given up just like I think of doing some days when nothing gets better. But how can I give up when $6 makes such a big difference in someone’s life?
From my heart to yours,
For the last 2 weeks I have been at home alone while everyone else was working. How can I be envious of that? Everyone else doesn’t want to have to go to work but me, I have to be different. I’d like somewhere to go and interact with people. I was getting a bit of cabin fever and frustrated that the only time getting out is a possibility is when someone takes me in my own car that I can’t drive. This Bells Palsy has reduced the size of my world considerabley.
So I called the city transit center and spoke, oddly enough, to a real human being. I explained where I was planning on starting from and where I wanted to end up and asked what bus did I need to get there. After a few questions and answers, we were on the same page and I was off. I’ve been here for 3 months and finally decided it was time to give it a try. Off I went for a 20 minute walk down our street to the bus stop.
The driver was so kind and lowered the bus for me. They can do that. I use a cane for balance and wear a hat to warm my head so I guess I look in need of extra care. I started to feed my dollar bill into the fare machine and he says seniors ride free. Woo hoo! I can afford to make this trip often. I guess I look old too.
Unfortunately, I got off one stop too early and had to walk farther than was necessary but I am now more familiar with the route. I was able to buy my yarn after taking forever to find a color that worked well and some greeting cards that require careful selection without feeling like I was making someone wait on me. I bet I walked 3 miles at least so I had my exercise for the day. By the time I walked to all the places I wanted to go, walked back to the bus stop and the 20 minute walk back down our street home, my feet were no longer happy with me.
I rode the bus and the MAX in Portland, Oregon some while I was living there last year but I had help navigating the system. This one here is a bit scarier to figure out but it had to be done for personal freedoms sake. We are all interdependent in so many ways but sometimes we just want to do what we want to do. I finally just had to give it a try. It wasn’t a big adventure but it added to my potential to stand on my own anywhere I wind up in the future. I’m a big girl now. I know how to ride the bus.
From my heart to yours,
In the last week or so I have been trying something new. Energy Medicine and Qi Gong. Figured it couldn’t hurt and I can do it without falling over. The Qi Gong exercises are a little like Yoga and Tai Chi combined and the Energy medicine is similar in that you do some tapping and moving to awaken the flow of energy in your body. Kind of airy-fairy but like I said, nothing else has worked so I gave it a shot.
On Thursday morning as I was folding up my bed, yes, it’s a sofa bed, I turned my head to look out the window to watch the wind blowing the trees. The turning of my head brought on that snap of a tense muscle in my neck that shot up into my head. It was on my left side that was already tensed from the Bells Palsy. My first thought was of what we used to call a crick in the neck. I’ve had them before and they can be quite painful till they let go.
This one sent a searing sensation up into my head and being somewhat of a worry wart, I wondered for a nano second if it could be an aneurism or a tiny stroke. Well, in an instant it let go. Just that little pop and when I worked to relax my neck and body, it was over. Wow! Did I get lucky. No crick and I felt oddly a bit better. It was as though something tight in my neck had finally let go of something in my head. Since my face has been paralyzed for close to 2 years now and everything on that left side is attached, any tiny bit of relief is a big deal.
I have looked for signs of healing in the most minuscule of changes. Standing in one spot without weaving for more than a few seconds is big. Being able to hold water in my mouth when I brush my teeth is big. Drinking out of a cup without a straw although very carefully is really big. You would think I was 2 again. And the feeling I had after the neck pop was big. I stood there a few moments to feel what was going on. Oddly, I felt slightly less dizzy. Still not planning on going down the stairs without holding onto the railing but something has changed. I can’t put my finger on it and maybe I want it so badly that I’m not sure if it’s my imagination or if I’m really getting better.
I so wanted to work outside in the yard that day since it’s what I love to do but the wind was blowing hard and it wasn’t as warm as I need right now. The Chinese believe that wind and cold are what set off Bells Palsy. I know it was cold and windy when I got it so I’m not taking any more chances. I wear a hat everywhere now. My head is so sensitive I even wear one to bed. And that’s where I went. To bed for a short nap. Remember, my bed is a sofa and a short one so the nap was a short one too. But I have finally deduced that rest is the most essential part of this healing process. I hate rest. I’m a go go go kind of girl. The more I can get done in a day the happier I am. But if I want to get well I have to go less and rest more.
My vision seems to have settled down from the constant dance a bit as well since the non crick episode. Just a tiny bit better. My son looked at my one good eye that actually has real vision and is the one that is unfortunately also paralyzed and asked me to try to move that muscle and open it more. Still can’t be done. I can’t lift the eyebrow and wink. When I’m the slightest bit tired, the eye just barely holds open. I think that part will be the last to heal. But the jumpy part where everything feels like it’s swimming and bouncing around me seems calmer. I believe I will be able to drive soon and have planned for month 24 to be the end of it. I have made it my mantra. I will be well at the 2 year mark! I will make my body believe it too. There is a glimmer of hope and I’m hanging on tight.
From my heart to yours,
Next week will be 23 months with Bells Palsy. I’m counting on 24 to be the magic number and call it done. Wouldn’t that be just snazzy!! But just in case it needs a little help to go dormant again for another 61 years, I’m on the lookout for new ideas to help me heal.
My belief and my truth (they do not need to be yours) is that illness is the body speaking loudly to messages we were unwilling to hear more quietly in our gut. I heard the message each time it came to me but vacillated on acting on the message. Now even a headache or a tickle in my throat tells me to let go of something I’m holding resentment about.
That being said, I turned my life and many others upside down in order to heal and to prevent more serious illness from manifesting. Yes, I’ll do most anything to get well, even give up sugar. Now that’s a tough one and I’ve been holding onto it. Carbs were the glue that held me together. Now they have to go. Granted, it’s an experiment like everything else I’ve tried but it can’t hurt. Vitamins always make my stomach hurt so I’ve been told to take them late in the day before going to bed. Guess I’m not supposed to notice a stomach ache when I’m asleep but B vitamins are so essential to healing the nerves. Not that I have a nerve left. Maybe I’ll get new nerves to replace the damaged nerves.
Other things I’ve tried as I have mentioned before are Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Neurologists (2), ENT’s, GP’s, Naturopaths, alkaline water, the Vibe machine, herbs, tinctures, medical intuitives, and psychics. What’s left to try? Well, I’m exploring Energy medicine which may help or not. Haven’t devoted enough energy to it yet. Just this week I also tried some Qi Gong exercises for healing. That did refresh me quite a bit and I noticed I didn’t get so tippy while doing them. Yoga is a favorite but my balance has gone missing so I only do a few floor poses.
What’s left to try? I’m open to suggestions. Most people are surprised that I make such a big deal out of Bells Palsy. It’s just facial paralysis after all. I wish! That’s the easy part. The vestibular integration dysfunction, the hearing loss, wayward balance and the difficulty forming complete and cohesive sentences under the smallest amount of stress is mind blowing.
I can tell you this much. I have a healthier respect for people with illnesses that are invisible to the naked eye. My daughter has fibromyalgia. Most doctors and most people think it’s a disease of the mind. I always thought it was just lazy disease. We all have pain, just push through it. Not so easy as it looks. I have found pain and even balance issues to be exhausting. Every effort requires rest behind it. So finally, I’m trying to cut my daughter some slack. I finally understand.
So if you have something new to offer, let me know. I haven’t tried a witch doctor but I did call a Shaman. Unfortunately, by then, I had run out of funds. Whatever you come up with it has to be inexpensive because I no longer have insurance either. It’s been quite an interesting ride. But truth be told, I’m ready for a different ride. Something with wellness and fun involved.
From my heart to yours,
I have accomplished a lot in the last year. Some days it didn’t look like anything had changed. But everything has changed. I’m not completely well yet but I fully expect this New Year to bring that about. In the last year I have gone through a very difficult though necessary divorce. My daughter and I held my precious fuzzy companion of 11 years as her pain and her life left her. I moved in with my daughter and then we both moved in with my son. That’s giving us both the opportunity to readjust our lives. I’m waiting for my house to sell so I can buy another in an area more suitable for my life
I loved a lot of things about my house and the area it’s in. I especially loved all my friends that had to be left behind. They were friends like I’ve had nowhere else in the world. But I needed something different and being unable to drive has shown me that I need a different kind of community. Letters and phone calls aren’t the same as hugs and lunch.
Financially, it’s been a tough year for most of us but I’ve seen it as an opportunity to see what’s really important. I’ve survived a year and a half with all my STUFF in storage. Every year I say I’m going to get my health, wealth and weight under control. Every single year!! I’m still up to my cheeks in alligators financially and 40 pounds heavier physically. How does that happen? Good intentions followed by a lot of maybe later would be a good place to look.
The New Year brings up a lot of hope and trepidation. The predictions are ominous. Carolyn Myss says we are going from the Fossil age to the Energy age. I read everything she writes. We all know things are changing and many of us are trying to prepare for those changes. Many of us can’t handle change. You can’t grow without it so you get to choose to flow with it or fight it. I’m still for rowing my boat downstream; following the current and try to avoid the rocks but enjoying the ride. It’s an exciting trip if you want to look at it that way. My illness was a way to let me see I’d hit a big rock and it was time to get back in the smoother part of the river.
This ride through life can be tedious, exhausting, frightening, and yet it can be fun and joyful. But it’s definitely too hard if you do it alone. So I found books. Lots of them and they all have a tiny gift. I get daily motivational tips from Daily Om, Neale Donald Walsch, Nightingale Conant. I have wonderful friends and family members send great tidbits or post wonderful banners with sayings on their Facebook page to uplift me. They are my life preserver. I have a friend that is so upbeat in the most adverse of conditions that it feels like I’ve just been showered with a rainbow when I talk to her.
Then there are others who do nothing but complain about how hard life is and when you throw them a life preserver, they throw it back at you and keep on complaining. After an encounter like that, I’m looking for another life preserver for myself. I felt the same cranky way the first time someone offered me Byron Katie’s book “Loving What Is”. I tossed (threw) that one many times before finally realizing she had something I needed. I don’t have the answers but I know where to start looking for them. I read some of Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hanson’s book “Mastering the Law of Attraction” or “Going Bonkers” magazine. I download those to my Kindle so I always have something uplifting with me everywhere. I have a Kindle, a Kindle app on my phone, on my laptop and Kindle in the Cloud. So I have always got at least 4 books going at once. There are plenty of hardcover books next to and in my bed. With the dog gone, I needed something to take up that space. I really miss that dog.
This New Year will be like the rest in many ways. Full of lumps and bumps, celebrations and quiet moments. I hope mostly to grow this year. To be a lot better at anything and a little bit better at everything. Letting people I know that I care about them instead of keeping it to myself will be at the top of my list. I ASS U ME they know. This illness along with aging has left some large gaps between thinking and doing. I’ll do better next year is my motto. I’ll give it my all. I wish for you all a better New Year in every way.
From my heart to yours,